Ask a Sleep Expert: The 9 Best Earplugs for Sleeping

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Whether you live in a busy urban hub, work the night shift and need to doze during the day, or have a partner who snores (bless their heart), the right pair of earplugs might be just what you need to get the rest you crave. "Earplugs can absolutely be helpful when trying to fall asleep," confirms sleep science coach Logan Foley. "A quiet environment is key to getting a full, uninterrupted night of sleep."

"When shopping for earplugs for sleep, the most important features are fit, comfort, and noise reduction," she tells Byrdie. "There are all kinds of earplugs on the market, ranging from inexpensive disposable earplugs to noise-canceling electronic options." With these pointers in mind, we rounded up the top pairs the internet has to offer.

Here, the best earplugs for sleeping.

Our Top Picks
These ultra-soft reusable silicone earplugs stay in place comfortably, reducing noise as much as 25 decibels.
These wallet-friendly foam earplugs compress and expand when inserted into your ear for a truly custom fit.
This value pack boasts 50 pairs of disposable earplugs made from low-pressure foam that expands within the ear canal.
These high-quality reusable silicone earplugs boast a 32-decibel noise-reduction rating and a comfortable fit.
Smooth and hygienic, these plugs use a compressible and self-adjusting foam that expands within the ear canal for the perfect fit.
Sold as a 30-pair box, these individually wrapped plugs are easy to toss into a bag or suitcase for sleeping away from home.
Washable and reusable, these incredibly soft silicone plugs adjust and expand to the shape of your ear canal to muffle noise.
Perfect for taking on the road, this set of three 32 decibel-blocking earplugs comes with a convenient carrying case.
Great for keeping track of your plugs, this pair features a 25-inch removable cord to prevent you from losing them in your sleep.

Best Overall: Loop Quiet Noise Reduction Earplugs

What We Like
  • Reusable

  • Four tip sizes included

  • Reduces 25 decibels


What We Don't Like
  • Relatively pricey

Our number one pick is Loop Quiet. Made of ultra-soft silicone with four tip sizes included, these superstar earplugs are comfy as can be—yep, even for side-sleepers. They stay put while you toss and turn—though hopefully, you won't be doing much of that anymore—so you won't have to search your sheets in the morning for a rogue bud.

More to the point, these sleeping companions reduce as much as 25 decibels of noise while you doze. Plus, they're washable and reusable, allowing you to minimize your waste and cut down on money spent on achieving quality sleep. Oh, and did we mention they come in a handful of chic colors, like blush, mint, maroon, and white?

Material: Silicone | Colors: White, black, navy, maroon, mint, blush | Sizes: XS–L tips included

Best Budget: Flents Quiet Contour Foam Earplugs

What We Like
  • Expands to fit all ears

  • Reduces up to 33 decibels

  • Comes with case

What We Don't Like
  • Not ideal for smaller ear canals

On a budget? You won't lose any sleep over the price of Flents Quiet Contour. These earplugs are made of super-soft—and dare we say snuggly—foam. The material is designed to compress effortlessly with your fingers and then expand within your ears for a custom fit.

This 10-pack comes with a handy carrying case so you can bring a pair with you on the road or keep them easily reachable on your bedside table. What's more, you can count on up to 33 decibels of sound reduction while you catch your beauty sleep.

Material: Foam | Color: Green | Sizes: Self-adjusting fit

Best Value: Mack's Ultra-Soft Foam Earplugs 50 Pair

What We Like
  • Great value

  • Low-pressure foam

  • Reduces 33 decibels

What We Don't Like
  • May fall out while sleeping

If you live with a snorer or travel often, it might be worth getting a value pack of disposables. We're big fans of Mack's Ultra-Soft, which are made with a special low-pressure foam that compresses and then expands within your ear canal.

The cushy material offers a notably comfy fit in all sleeping positions while reducing an impressive 33 decibels of sound. With 50 pairs, you can bring them on the go and toss them after a single use. They're washable, too, so you can also reuse them if needed.

Material: Polyurethane foam | Color: Beige | Sizes: Self-adjusting fit

Best Reusable: Anbow Reusable Silicone Ear Plugs

What We Like
  • Reusable

  • Redues 32 decibels

  • Comes with travel case

What We Don't Like
  • Only one size

Made of high-grade, BPA-free silicone, Anbow earplugs are washable and reusable. The soft material and ergonomic umbrella-like design ensure a comfy fit all night long—just insert, spin, and you're good to go.

We also appreciate that these earplugs have a 32-decibel noise-reduction rating, so you can rest assured that ambient sounds won't disrupt your sleep. You'll get three pairs, plus a storage box, a convenient carrying case, and a waterproof travel pouch.

Material: Silicone | Color: Blue, green, purple, yellow | Sizes: Universal

Best Disposable: Howard Leight LaserLite Foam Disposable Earplugs for Sleeping

What We Like
  • Single-use design

  • Self-adjusting foam

  • Reduces 32 decibels

What We Don't Like
  • May not fit some ear canals

Howard Leight's classic two-toned pink and yellow earplugs are by far the best disposables you'll find. The brand's LaserLite foam is easily compressible and self-adjusting, so it expands within your ear canal for a customized fit.

The closed-cell material is soft, smooth, and hygienic, plus it reduces 32 decibels of sound. You could theoretically wash and reuse them, but with a pack of 25 pairs, you can toss them after a single use and still have plenty to spare.

Material: Closed-cell foam | Colors: Pink/yellow | Size: Self-adjusting fit

Best Individually Wrapped: 3M E-A-R Classic Uncorded Earplugs Pillow Pack

What We Like
  • Individually wrapped

  • Recyclable packaging

  • Expands to fit all ears

What We Don't Like
  • May fall out while sleeping

Frequent flyers, camping enthusiasts, and anyone who sleeps away from home often should consider getting this 30-pair box from 3M E-A-R Classic. These individually wrapped earplugs come in little cardboard pillow packs, which are recyclable and easy to toss in a bag, suitcase, or purse.

The closed-cell, low-pressure PVC (polyvinyl) foam is dermatologically safe and non-irritating. It conforms to the unique curves of your ear canal, and the cylindrical shape is comfortable in a number of sleeping positions.

Material: PVC foam | Color: Yellow | Size: Self-adjusting fit

Best Self-Adjusting: Becheln Reusable Silicone Ear Plugs

Belchen earplugs are made of incredibly soft, high-grade silicone. The material squishes between your fingers, allowing you to gently press it into your ear opening. Once inside, it'll expand to the shape of your canal within about a minute.

This makes for a customized fit and an exceedingly comfortable feel. While they only reduce 22 decibels of sound, you can count on sufficient muffling. These sleeping earplugs are washable and reusable. You'll get five pairs, which come with a storage box and a smaller travel case.

Material: Silicone | Colors: Blue, green, purple, yellow | Sizes: Self-adjusting fit

Best for Travel: Matador Travel Ear Plugs Kit

What We Like
  • Carrying case

  • Reduces 32 decibels

  • Travel cases included

What We Don't Like
  • May not fit in some ear canals

If you're frequently on the road for work or have a vacation coming up, we recommend the Matador Travel Kit. It comes with three pairs of memory foam earplugs, each with a noise-reduction rating of 32 decibels. While these earplugs don't completely cancel noise, you'll experience a significant reduction in disrupting sounds while you snooze.

Just like a high-quality mattress, the plush and squishy material compresses with minimal pressure and then expands to fit your unique shape. You'll get two silicone cases with zipper closures and handy key rings.

Material: Memory foam, silicone | Colors: Black, white | Sizes: Self-adjusting fit

Best Corded: Quality Plugs by Rips 10 Pairs Individually Wrapped Corded Silicone Ear Plugs

What We Like
  • Reusable

  • Removable cord

  • Great value

What We Don't Like
  • Wrapped in plastic

Corded options are nice because you don't have to worry about losing one or both while you toss and turn. If you're the type of person who can't be trusted with earbud-style headphones, Quality Plugs have your name on them.

These reusable earplugs are made of ultra-soft silicone and twist in for a secure fit. Each individually wrapped pair is connected by a 25-inch cord, which you can take off and on as needed. Drape it around your neck, pop the plugs in when you need some peace and quiet, and rest assured you won't lose them along the way.

Material: Silicone | Colors: Orange/blue | Sizes: Universal

Final Verdict

When it comes to sleeping, the best earplugs overall are Loop Quiet Noise Reduction Earplugs. We like that the reusable design comes with ultra-soft silicone tips to fit any ear size, plus they reduce 25 decibels of noise. Having said that, if you want something a little easier on your wallet or a design that offers more sound reduction, go with Flents Quiet Contour Foam Earplugs, which have a self-adjusting fit and an impressive decibel rating of 33.

Meet the Expert

Logan Foley is a certified sleep science coach with a deep understanding of the factors that contribute to various sleep struggles. As the Managing Editor at SleepFoundation.org, she has ample experience researching and testing various sleep products, including bedding, mattresses, and natural sleep aids.

What to Look For in Earplugs for Sleeping

Noise reduction rate

"Noise reduction rate (NRR) is measured by decibels (dB) and is typically listed in the specifications of earplugs. Higher numbers mean more significant noise reduction," Foley tells Byrdie. "Most earplugs have an NRR between 22 dB to 33 dB. Options within this range will all block out noise, but depending on your specific needs, options on either end of this range may be more appropriate."

Fit

When shopping around for earplugs, you'll also want to consider the fit. Many options are self-adjusting, meaning the material squishes down and then expands within your ear canal. You'll also find earplugs in a single universal size, which will be suitable for most people but not everyone, as well as designs with interchangeable tips.

"Some people have small ear canals, which may be difficult for regular earplugs to fit," Foley explains. "In this case, sleepers should look for a moldable earplug either made of foam or silicone so they can get a custom fit."

Sleeping position

"Your sleeping position is one of the most important factors for choosing an earplug that will be comfortable and fit to your ears," says Foley. "This can be especially tricky for side-sleepers, as many of the bulkier options can create uncomfortable pressure points. Side-sleepers should look for an option that will be flush with the side of their face, rather than earplugs that may stick out."

FAQ
  • Why are earplugs helpful for sleeping?

    If you're trying to sleep in an environment where you're unable to control the noises around you, earplugs are an excellent solution. "Being woken up by a sound during the night can lead to restless sleep, interrupting your REM (rapid eye movement) cycle and making eight hours of sleep feel like four," says Foley. "Earplugs can be a great option for those who need to block out noise from traffic or their sleeping partner's snores."

  • How do you use earplugs for sleeping?

    Aside from inserting earplugs into your ear canal, there's not much to using them while sleeping. For self-adjusting foam or silicone options, press or roll the material with your fingers until it's narrow enough to fit. Next, insert the earplug into your ear and wait about a minute for it to expand back to size.

    "Everyone has different needs when it comes to their sleep, so when thinking about comfort and fit, be sure to consider how you sleep and what you need from an earplug," Foley adds. Earplugs with a flush fit are usually ideal, as they won't put pressure on your eardrums when you roll to your side.

  • Are earplugs for sleeping bad for you?

    Some people experience wax buildup over time, as the plugs can push it to the back of the ear canal. But generally speaking, it's safe to wear earplugs while sleeping. For those experiencing sleep disruption, wearing noise-reducing earplugs to bed can actually provide health benefits by way of high-quality rest.

Why Trust Byrdie

Theresa Holland is an experienced commerce writer with a background in lifestyle and self-care. When researching this roundup, she spoke to a certified sleep coach and considered the NRR, material, fit, and overall design of earplugs from a range of brands and retailers. She pored over user reviews and combed through the specifications of dozens of options before making her final selections. Theresa has been contributing to Byrdie since 2020, where she covers beauty, health, and fitness.

According to our Diversity Pledge, 15% of products in our newly-published market roundups will feature Black-owned and/or Black-founded brands. At the time of publishing, we were not able to find any ear plugs for sleeping from a Black-owned and/or Black-founded business. If you know of one we should consider, please email us at contact@byrdie.com and we will evaluate the product ASAP.

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